Jesus And the World’s Faiths

Jesus and the World’s Faiths

July 9-12, 2018  |  Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Is it realistic to think that the message of Jesus Christ will bring the world together given Christianity’s legacy of religious violence and intolerance? In the wake of globalization, should humanity look for a different message of inclusion and justice? On what basis can we come together for the sake of peace and reconciliation?

The Protestant missionary and theologian, Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), was a skilled evangelist as well as a practitioner of respectful interfaith dialogue. He confessed “Jesus Christ is Lord of all” but said, with equal conviction, “Jesus Christ is infinitely greater than my limited view of him.” Newbigin believed that the presence and work of Jesus was not confined to the places and people that acknowledged him, and he challenged his fellow Christians to humbly receive what God has given to others, “to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd in the world at large.”

Join us this July as we explore the theme of “Jesus and the World’s Faiths.” Looking through the lens of Newbigin’s pioneering theology, we’ll be led by some of the world’s leading practitioners of interreligious dialogue and the work for better understanding and reconciliation.

Highlights of the week include:

  • Expert teaching on the thought of Lesslie Newbigin and its contemporary implications
  • Historic walking tours of Cambridge
  • A punt trip in the historic centre of Cambridge
  • Opportunities for discussion and relaxation
  • Worship at the Chapel and a banquet at the Hall of Magdalene College (where C.S. Lewis was professor of Renaissance and Medieval Literature)


9:00-9:30am: Registration

9:30-11:00am: Session 1. Welcome, Introductions (Scot Sherman)

11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break

11:30am-1:00pm: Session 2. (Paul Weston)

‘Newbigin and the Challenge of Religious Pluralism’

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-3:30pm: Afternoon Activities – Walking Tour of Cambridge

4:00-5:30pm: Public Lecture (David Ford)

‘The Open Secret and the Continuing Surprises: Christian Inter-faith Engagement and Theology after Newbigin

6:00pm: *Optional dinner at St. John’s Chophouse (Please RSVP)

9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer

9:30-11:00am:  Session 1. (Muthuraj Swamy)

‘Christianity and the Challenge of Pluralism in Indian Perspective’

11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break

11:30am-1:00pm: Session 2. (Muthuraj Swamy)

‘Christian Pluralism and Christian Mission’

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-5:00pm: Afternoon Activities – Punting (Please RSVP)

5:00-6:00pm: Afternoon Squash.

6:00pm: Evening meal at your own expense.

9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer

9:30-11:00am: Session 1. (Shirin Shafaie)

‘Christianity and Islam in the Public Square’

11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break

11:30am-1:00pm: Session 2. (Shirin Shafaie)

Panel Discussion

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-3:00pm: Session 3. (Carol Walker)

‘Christianity and Islam: Convergence and Dissonance’

3:15-3:45pm: Coffee/Tea Break

4:00-5:00pm: Optional Activity: Chained Library Tour

5:00-6:00pm: Afternoon Squash

6:15pm: Evening meal at your own expense

9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer

9:30-11:00am: Session 1. (Scot Sherman)

11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break

11:30am-1:00pm: Q&A and Group Discussion

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-4:00pm: Explore Cambridge on your own

4:00-5:30pm: Public Lecture. (Miroslav Volf)

‘The Universality of Jesus Christ: Christian Faith Among Contending Particular Universalisms’

5:45-6:15pm: Afternoon Drinks

6:30-7:30pm: Closing Chapel Service

Sermon by Miroslav Volf: ‘Jesus and the Redemption of Touch’ (Luke 7:36-50)

7:30-10:00pm: Closing Banquet (RSVP Required)


Dr. Miroslav Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.  He was educated in his native Croatia, the United States, and Germany, earning doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tuebingen, Germany. He has written or edited more than 15 books and over 70 scholarly articles. His most significant books includeExclusion and Embrace (1996), winner of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and one of Christianity Today’s 100 most important religious books of the 20th century; After Our Likeness (1998), in which he explores the Trinitarian nature of ecclesial community; Allah: A Christian Response (2011), on whether Muslims and Christians have a common God; and A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good (2011).  His most recent books, Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World and Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity (co-authored with Ryan McAnnally-Linzwere released in January and June of 2016.

Dr. David F. Ford OBE is Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Selwyn College. Professor Ford co-chairs Global Covenant Partners (which serves the Global Covenant of Religions, an international initiative in response to religion-related violence); the Rose Castle Foundation (a centre for reconciliation, inter-faith engagement and conservation based in Rose Castle in Cumbria); and Faith in Leadership (which offers leadership training to emerging and established leaders from several religious traditions). He currently serves on boards of Kalam Research and Media (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Tripoli, Tunis and Kuala Lumpur); the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton; the Institute for Comparative Scripture and Interreligious Dialogue in Minzu University, Beijing; the Elijah Interfaith Institute, Jerusalem; and the Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education project in Goldsmiths, University of London. He was a co-founder of the inter-faith practice of Scriptural Reasoning, and has been a theological adviser to three Archbishops of Canterbury. His publications include: The Drama of Living; Interreligious Reading After Vatican IITheology: A Very Short IntroductionThe Future of Christian TheologyChristian WisdomShaping Theology – Engagements in a Religious and Secular World; and The Modern Theologians.

Dr Shirin Shafaie studied Philosophy (BA) and Philosophy of Art (MA) in Iran, and Middle East Politics (MSc), and Film and TV (MA) in the UK. She completed her doctoral research on ‘Contemporary Iranian War Narratives: A Dialectical Discourse Analysis’ at SOAS, University of London, where she has been teaching Middle East Politics to post-graduate students. She currently holds a post-doctoral position at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies (CMCS) in Oxford where she is writing a monograph on ‘Reading Gen. 37- 50 in conversation with Islam’.  Her research interests are narrative theory, critical war studies, and faith-based diplomacy.  She is also the founder and director of Visual Academics Ltd., an independent film production and training organization that helps academics to use video as part of their research to increase impact and improve public engagement.

Dr Carol M Walker is a former member of the Gospel and Our Culture Management Council (2003-2015). She is an Associate Lecturer in Old Testament and Islamic Studies at All Nations Christian College, UK, with over twenty years’ experience of Bible teaching in Pakistan and the Middle East. Her doctoral research and principle area of academic study focus on comparative theology and approaches to the interpretation of scriptures (Bible and Qur’an).

Dr. Muthuraj Swamy (PhD Edinburgh) is currently the Dean of Theology in the Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India, where he is also the Dean of Postgraduate Studies, and a Visiting Fellow at St. John’s College, Durham University. He has published widely and is the author of the recent book The Problem with Interreligious Dialogue: Plurality, Conflict and Elitism in Hindu-Christian-Muslim Relationships (London: Bloomsbury, 2016). He has been commissioned to write the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book 2019 on the theme reconciliation (SPCK, London & ISPCK, Delhi, 2019). He is leading the Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion (MTAC) project (http://www.missiontheologyanglican.org/) and is the Editor of its book series written by theologians from the global South which includes three Pre-Lambeth Conference books on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s three priorities – Reconciliation, Evangelism and Witness, and Prayer – in preparation of the Lambeth Conference 2020.

Dr. Paul Weston is Director of the Newbigin Centre, Cambridge, lectures in mission studies and homiletics at Ridley Hall, Cambridge and is an affiliated lecturer in the Cambridge University Divinity Faculty. He is a graduate of Cambridge University, and has research degrees from the  Council of National Academic Awards (MPhil), and King’s College, London (PhD).

Paul’s PhD was on Lesslie Newbigin’s missionary engagement with Western culture, and he has written widely on his work.  He is editor of Lesslie Newbigin, Missionary Theologian: A Reader (SPCK/Eerdmans, 2006),  Faith in a Changing World (St Paul’s Theological Centre, 2012), and co-editor with Mark Laing of  Theology in Missionary Perspective: Lesslie Newbigin’s Legacy (Wipf & Stock, 2012). His most recent book (co-edited with Jason Sexton) is The End of Theology: Shaping Theology for the Sake of Mission (Fortress Press, 2016).

Dr. Scot Sherman is the Executive Director of the Newbigin House of Studies, a center for graduate theological education and spiritual formation based in San Francisco. He oversees the Newbigin Fellowship, a nine-month intensive training program that seeks to provide a framework for wise integration of faith, work, and life, and hosts the speaker series Conversations For the Common Good. He is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M), and the University of Wales (Ph.D).

Scot’s doctoral dissertation focused on the early ecumenical influence of the British missionary-theologian Lesslie Newbigin, a pioneer in thinking through the challenges facing churches in the contemporary West. He is currently working on his first book, an exploration of the ideas of the French philosopher and social theorist René Girard.

Scot lives with his wife, Catherine, and they have four sons. He loves opera, detective fiction, playing the piano, and goes wine tasting as often as possible.



Airport – Attendees may fly into either Heathrow or Gatwick airports.
Bus – Bus tickets from the airport to Cambridge are available from National Express.
Train – Train tickets from the airport to Cambridge are available from National Rail.
Taxi – Taxi companies in Cambridge A1 Cabco TaxisCamCabPanther Taxis.

Reminders for U.S. Attendees

  • If you plan to bring any small appliances (hair dryer, curling iron, etc…) you will need a voltage converter and a three prong adapter.
  • Please contact your bank to ensure that you are able to withdraw money from an ATM in the UK.
  • Alert your bank and/or credit card company that you will be traveling oversees to avoid an account freeze due to suspicion of fraudulent charges.
  • A raincoat and/or umbrella is a must for summer in Cambridge.
  • Please check with your health insurance company to understand your coverage internationally.
  • Remember: your cell phone will not work internationally unless you have purchased additional coverage.
  • You can receive VAT (value added tax) refunds on some goods bought in the UK. Visit Gov. uk for more information.


General Information

All travel and accommodation fees are the responsibility of the attendee. Summer lodging fills up very quickly in Cambridge. Please book your accommodation as soon as possible. Many hotels offer free cancellation in the event that you change your mind or find a less expensive option.

Trinity Hall – Central Site

The block of rooms is currently full. Please email info@newbiginhouse.org to be added to a waiting list in the event of any cancellations.


Home/Apartment Rental

Sometimes home/apartment rentals are the same price as a hotel if you are looking for space for more than 1 person. Here are a few websites to get you started in this search.

Bed & Breakfast


*These prices are not guaranteed, do not include VAT, and are to aid in your research only. Please contact each hotel directly for pricing and availability.

**Distances are calculated from 21 Magdalene Street, Cambridge CB3 0AG, UK


The conference is currently at capacity. Please email info@newbiginhouse.org to be notified if a space becomes available.

Refund Policy

Attendees may request a refund until June 9, 2018. After this date, all registration fees are final and will not be refunded. Funds will be returned via PayPal or Stripe in the currency originally paid only.